Once upon a time…

The 1926 Historic Ridgewood home of Russ Hensch seems as if it came straight off the pages of a fairy tale. A welcoming pergola greets you at the foot of a winding sidewalk leading up to the home. Couple that with elaborate landscape design and the home’s rich, warm colors, and one can imagine Hansel and Gretel skipping up to the classic Tudor door.

The 1926 Historic Ridgewood home of Russ Hensch seems as if it came straight off the pages of a fairy tale. A welcoming pergola greets you at the foot of a winding sidewalk leading up to the home. Couple that with elaborate landscape design and the home’s rich, warm colors, and one can imagine Hansel and Gretel skipping up to the classic Tudor door.

“Most people say it looks like a cottage,” said Hensch, who added that the size of the home is deceiving.
“There’s more than what you see.”

The exterior cedar shingle siding of the home is painted a shade of olive green with terracotta trim. The
color makes the house pop among the others on the street.

When one enters the foyer, the eye is drawn to the front living area by the vibrant, warm colors of the walls, artwork and rug.

“We like dark, saturated colors,” said Hensch of the deep burgundy, golds and greens that dominate the home.

“It feels warm. It’s not huge,” he said of this main living room that stretches almost the entire width of the home, “but it works for us.”

On the walls are Hensch’s own artwork, which he creates from mid-November to March in his basement studio when he is off from his regular job as a landscape designer.

The living area features his mixed-media canvas work.

“It’s what I’m hot on now,” he said, speaking about what he calls “collages or assemblages” that incorporate acrylic paint, nail heads, aluminum and other “found objects.” Many of his works, such as these, can be found at 2nd April Galerie in Canton.

A large picture window dominates the main wall, allowing light into the room. Larger windows, he said, are characteristic of “Tudorbethan” homes such as this. Also known as a Free Tudor, a Tudorbethan comes from the combined Tudor and Elizabethan styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Hensch said not a lot of the decor inside the house is original. As he is the sixth owner, much has been updated in the home.

“Preservationists strongly suggest keeping things original, but we didn’t have anything to work with,” he said. “We want it to look good and be functional.”

The hardwood floors throughout the house are not original. Hensch believes the previous owner replaced them because of some type of damage.

The formal dining room follows off the living room and continues the fall color pattern. Moss green walls and a caramel ceiling go well with the dark furniture.

Hensch says the subtle diamond pattern on the walls, which he created with stencils and both flat and glossy paint of the same color, sometimes goes unnoticed by guests for several visits.

The light will hit it right, he said, and they will see it and comment.

His favorite piece in the room is an antique secretary he got for free and refurbished 30 years ago. He said he does not know its origin.

“I probably took the value out of it (by refinishing it), but I don’t intend on selling it,” he said.

A cozy restaurant-style booth in a breakfast nook connecting the dining room and the kitchen is one of Hensch’s favorite places in the house.

Embossed wallpaper on the ceiling gives the appearance of an old tin ceiling.

Hensch said the nook was “quite a little cave” before they opened up the wall and added an old window.

The window came from a home that was demolished on 12th Street NW about 12 years ago.

Hensch bought it from the demolition company and saved it until he had the perfect spot.

“That was a fun little moment,” he said of the day he hung his prized window in that spot.

The kitchen is the one place in the house that was completely renovated when Hensch moved in five years ago.

“We gutted it down to nothing,” he said.

The renovation included knocking out a wall and enlarging the space into what once was an in-law suite. The space now serves as a den.

Modern appliances incorporated into dark cherry cabinets surround the centerpiece — a granite center
island with a chandelier above.

Hensch acknowledged that the kitchen is not typical for a Tudor, “but we feel it comes all together.”

As the weather warms, the outdoor gardens become a favorite place to spend time. Another pergola in the
backyard showcases Hensch’s collection of glass orbs made by local glass blower K.C. Carter.

The gardens surrounding the home offer a full variety of plants and flowers. They were designed by Hensch in 2005 and 2006.